Tuesday, September 25th, 2007
So recently I finished our second 26″ road bike, this one for our friend Mary. There’s a lot of talk about new smaller wheel sizes, especially for smaller bikes – 650B, 650C, let’s face it, 650 a-z. For the uninitiated, all of these are wheel sizes smaller than 700c. Obviously it makes sense that radically different size bikes should have different size wheels. But meanwhile you don’t want an infinite number of sizes cuz then you’d need all those different rim, tire and tube sizes. So some standardization makes sense. Also adding to the confusion is that the 650b (diameter 584mm) and 650c (diameter 571mm) are referred to by metric names while old mtb style 26″ (diameter 559mm) is called, well, 26″. Sheesh.
Although everyone seems really hot on 650b, there aren’t a ton of tires available. Also, good old 26″ are nice cuz it’s the most common size wheel on the planet. This makes it great for touring bikes, because anywhere you go in the world you’ll be able to get tires, tubes, and wheels.
Mostly for that reason, the two small wheeled road bikes we’ve done recently have used 26″ wheels with 26×1.25 tires. These are high pressure, so you can go fast, but can take bumps and curbs and such. Here’s Mary’s:
You can see more pictures of her bike here.
In addition, Mary’s bike is our first with the Shimano Nexus 8 speed internal hub. We had to do some different cable routing for it but otherwise it was pretty straightforward. The hub works great but wow does it weight a TON. We won’t be trading in our single speeds anytime soon, but for a commuter who wants more ratios and would like something weatherproof, it’s an option.
The other bike that just went out the door is for Ed, the LinguiÃ§a Kidd. It’s metallic black with black decals and mostly black parts. It’s like a black hole. It exerts it’s own gravitional pull. It’s bad for your eyes. It’s just bad. In the sense that it’s good.
And you can see more scary pictures of that bike here.